SPRINGFIELD, MA– The Springfield Thunderbirds will welcome the Laval Rocket for the first time in franchise history tonight at the MassMutual Center in front of a sold-out crowd for David Ortiz Night.  The former Red Sox Slugger will be making an appearance and bringing the 2013 World Series Championship trophy with him. Ortiz will be apart of the ceremonial puck drop and activities in the first intermission.

The Thunderbirds are hoping to turn their season around and get off the sophomore slump. They lost to the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night at the MassMutual Center 3-1. Anthony Greco continued his scoring streak for the Thunderbirds and scored his sixth of the season.  Thunderbirds goaltender Harri Sateri finished with 21 saves in the loss.

The Laval Rocket are new to the American Hockey League this season after relocating from St. John’s Newfoundland. The Rocket are second in the AHL North Division with a record of 7-4-2 for 16 points. Daniel Carr leads the Rocket in goals with seven. Matt Taormina leads the team in points with 13 (two goals, 11 assists). Taormina also leads all AHL defenseman in points and assists.

Transactions were aplenty this week for the Thunderbirds. Dryden Hunt was called up to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. He made his National Hockey League on Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Hunt has skated in 13 games this season with the Thunderbirds scoring five goals and receiving three assists for eight points. He signed with the Panthers when he was a free agent back on March 2, 2016.

The Florida Panthers made a trade on Friday as they acquired defenseman Ludwig Bystrom from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Reece Scarlett.

Bystrom has appeared in six games with the Texas Stars this season scoring one goal. He has skated in 138 AHL career games with the Texas Stars.

The Thunderbirds called up forward Francois Beauchemin and Tony Turgeon from the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL.

Beauchemin has played in two games with the Thunderbirds this year and three with the Manchester Monarchs.

Turgeon has skated in eight games with the Monarchs scoring a goal.  He scored his first two AHL goals back on April 1, 2017, against the Providence Bruins.

The puck will drop tonight on this historic night tonight at 7:05 p.m.

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